"The Burger and Fries Test" - it better taste as good as it looks!
While marketing strategies have evolved, some companies still rely on misleading images and unrealistic promises to lure prospects into their web.
There are much better ways to go about building a business. Here are 3 ways to guide your marketing so that it speaks honestly and directly to your client and prospect.
1. TRANSPARENCY BUILDS TRUST
One of the most glaring areas where there is distrust is around price. Consumers have come to expect that the "true cost" lives somewhere in the shadows and that there will be any number of add-on items magically appearing that bumps up the final price. Let the rest of the business world continue with this draconian practice if they must - for us it is time to do better.
Price: Stop hiding it. Whether it is in your marketing or during the sales process - get it out in the open. Talk about it. Get comfortable explaining how much you are charging and why. Your prospects will know intuitively how you feel about your pricing so you better believe in it. One of the reasons buyers negotiate so doggedly and why trust issues arise late in the sales process is because prospects are accustomed to being mislead. Don't do it. Be part of the solution.
Detailed Conversations: Have them! It amazes me when I'm out there talking with a company about their product or service and I get the sense that time is running out on our conversation! Sure, there may come a time with some prospects when you have to cut the cord - but, in my experience, it is much better to give too much time than not enough. If you give more all you lost was a little time - if you don't give enough you could lose a client. People have come to expect to be treated like cattle and, to me, that his a horrible way to run a business. Get deep into conversation with your client - enjoy the relationship - enjoy them as a person. If you do this one thing you're effectiveness as a communicator and marketer will skyrocket. Your prospects want a relationship with you - even if they don't know it yet. Help them understand what they need to enjoy the full benefit of your product or service - tell them upfront - and keep telling them over and over for as long as they are a client. By diving into the full details about who you are - what you can do for your client - and how you will help their business grow you will secure more long term, higher paying clients and you will enjoy your client relationships more than ever.
2. DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF A PROSPECT'S PROBLEM BUILDS TRUST
How are we going to truly help a prospect solve their problem if we only have a superficial understanding of their situation? Many businesses rush into the solutions part of their presentations (for fear of losing a prospect) without taking enough time listening to a prospect's needs.
Seems reasonable that a customer - client - consumer should be listened to and understood BEFORE being sold something however that doesn't mean that it's common practice. I would say that as consumers we have grown so accustomed to not being listened to that we have come to expect it. Most businesses say that their service or product is the best thing around - that their medicine is a "cure all" - but we know from our own experience as consumers that this isn't the truth.
As we market and grow our business, part of job is to demonstrate how our services or products will work well for our clients and prospects. But we know this isn't always the case.
So, this means that also part of understanding a prospect's situation is to know when we're NOT the best person for the job. However, when was the last time after fully explaining your situation to a sales person have we heard, "I fully understand what you need. Unfortunately our company might not be the best fit. I would recommend that you talk to who could really help you out." Generally, this doesn't happen.
Fearless honesty is the only way to run your business and stay in integrity at the same time. This is what Kaårv is committed to and these are the companies we want to work with.
If a business doesn't take the time to thoroughly understand the prospect's problem - and share their understanding back to the prospect - before educating the prospect on a solution there is the risk of running up against two critical barriers:
3. SHARING THE BUYER'S JOURNEY BUILDS TRUST
Clear definition of your Buyer's Journey means that you will be creating marketing that educates your prospect whether your client is just learning about you business - educating themselves on your services - or building up to their final decision to work with you. No matter where they are in this series, your consistent marketing can create clarity for your prospect - it will help them know they are talking to people who understand and who can help. To establish your buying stages begin to identify a prospect potential problems and then create messaging that:
a) Educates the prospect about the full scope of their problem
b) Outlines potential strategies - pitfalls - and solutions
c) Explains how you can deliver solutions that solve their problems
If you align your marketing to your Buyer's Journey - come from a place of integrity and transparency - and get committed to putting the needs of your clients first, you'll have distinguished yourself and your company among the ocean of other businesses. Then it's time to put in work - more work - and grow your business through honesty and service.